UNM students designing urban gardens

April 4, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Students at the University of New Mexico design and planning assistance studio are drawing up concepts for three urban garden open space, all located in and around Albuquerque's International District.

Graduate student Sunanda Sharmin, a landscape architecture major, is putting together her concept of what could go in this empty lot at Marble and Espanola. She's been working with people in the neighborhood.

"Understanding what they want and what they need. That's why we came up with those two schemes, giving the power back to them, letting them design their space," she said.

Sharmin said the community will have the final say.

"You draw a lot of your inspiration from there and also from the feedback of the client and the community," she said.

Architecture Professor Michaele Pride said this is a partnership between UNM, Bernalillo County Open Space and the city. The goal is to fix a glaring need.

"So there's a need for the open space itself, access to nature and access to healthy food," Pride said.

Professor Alf Simon, the UNM Landscape Architecture Department, explains that some areas in the international district are devoid of healthy food. He hopes these urban gardens fix that.

"What's called a food desert, in other words, the availability of good, healthy, fresh food within a walking distance," Simon said.